Ursula K. Le Guin

Hugh

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#21
The books that truly stand out for me are the Earthsea Trilogy. It’s difficult writing today to find words to describe just how important these books were to myself and people that I knew in the late 70s and 80s. Despite their simplicity they seemed to express deep truths of our inner world, in a way that no other books have for me, before or since. I was particularly taken with the third book with its acceptance of human frailty, much like the ending of Shakespeare’s Tempest. Even now, many years later, as I struggle to reconnect with the experience of that time, I feel these books as friendly oases within myself.

I regret not having attended the book signing in London for Tehanu, the fourth book. I could easily have rearranged commitments. A friend went: when she was in front of Ursula getting her book signed she said “I just want to say thank you”. I thought that was great. I devoured that book and to my bemusement was left shocked and perplexed by it. Maybe ten years later I read it again and wondered what on earth I’d been shocked about: in the intervening years I’d got older and become accepting of the truths that the story embodies.

I do not remember the fifth and sixth so well, and have not looked at them since first reading. I recall “The Other Wind” as a re-visioning of the Earthsea world to accommodate her ever-deepening perspective on Taoism. I will look at them again.

Frustratingly I cannot find my copy of her translation of the Tao Te Ching. In her introduction I’m sure she wrote of how she’d always loved this book, that her father had selected a chapter from it to be read at his funeral, and she was wondering which chapter she’d choose for her own funeral. I’d like to know which one she chose.

A truly great individual who has enriched my world immeasurably.
 

Randy M.

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#22
It'll be the Earthsea books that I'll remember her for - I can remember devouring them at a sitting, and then rereading them again and again over the years. Sad news.
I can understand that. For me, much of what I recall and need to revisit are her short stories. I've found the variety and breadth wonderful and amazing, even though I've read relatively few of the dozens she wrote.

Such a sad day when a such a cultured, knowledgeable, witty voice for rationality is stilled.


Randy M.
 

AlexH

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#27
Oh no. :( I remember her thoughts on life and writing more than her stories I've read up to now, and what great thoughts they were. She stood up for what she believed in, was generous with her advice to other writers and not afraid to voice her opinion. We could probably all learn a lot from those traits.

I was upset that the Earthsea film didn't do her justice, though did enjoy the TV series many years ago, which I was thinking of rewatching.
 

biodroid

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#29
Sad news, I read A Wizard of Earthsea as a set book for school 25 years ago and remember liking it.
 

Stephen Palmer

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#30
RIP Ursula Le Guin. A marvellous author, and an inspiring woman for various pro-human issues.
LOts of excellent coverage online, I was pleased to see.
 

BAYLOR

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#31
I read the fist three Earth Sea novels , wonderful stuff.

She was a great writer. :(
 

hitmouse

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#32
Very sad news. Fortunately her writing will live on and inspire many more people.

The BBC's somewhat meagre obit (if she'd been a TV or film celebrity, instead of merely a brilliant author, it would have been considerably extended with twitter quotes and all the rest of it) US fantasy author Ursula K Le Guin dies
I woke up that morning to the BBCs flagship Today programme on the radio. Le Guin's death was on every news bulletin and there was a reasonable potted obit discussing her life, works, and relevance. The last time I can remember this happening was for Terry Pratchett or Iain Banks, both of whom were big in mainstream UK popular culture ( and both of whom would have had comprehensive obits and appreciations prepared in advance, givrn their very public terminal illnesses.)

I think you are being a bit hard in Aunty.
 

aThenian

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#33
I'm intending to go back and read the Earthsea books again. It's been a long time.

Also loved Le Guin's short stories. One collection especially: Searoad - which is not sci-fi or fantasy, or at least there's no speculative aspect that I can recall. It's very evocative of time and place, set in the same small community in the Pacific North West.
 

johnnyjet

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#34
RIP! One of my all time favorite authors and an inspiration to me. I'm currently re-reading some of her works and reading others for the first time.
 

HareBrain

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#35
I'm currently reading Dreams Must Explain Themselves, a non-fiction collection. Probably worth the price just for a couple of the essays; everything else is a bonus.
 

psikeyhackr

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#38

I saw that when it first aired on PBS. I had already read the book. Then it disappeared for 20 years, something about copyright on a Beatles' song.

RIJ - Reincarnate In Joy
 

Vertigo

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#39
Missed this whilst I was away. So very sad. My personal favourite was The Dispossessed; it had an immensely profound impression on my younger self.
 

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